Top officers of Nigeria’s Defence Headquarters and military experts from the United States, the United Kingdom and other countries held their first meeting in Abuja on Saturday evening.
The meeting signified effective commencement of the allied operations against Boko Haram insurgents and the search for the abducted girls of the Government Secondary School, Chibok, Borno State. The meeting was attended by the National Security Adviser, Col. Dasuki Sambo (retd.), the Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Alex Badeh, the three service chiefs and high ranking military officers in strategic positions.
A security source said the meeting discussed the need for all to avoid the blame game in the concerted quest to deal with the issue of the missing girls. The source stated, “The important thing is that with the meeting, they have taken off and they have started well.”
“They recognised the fact that there is an Army on the ground that has been working. The process would be swift, precise and that hostage rescue remains the most delicate of military operations which required a lot of caution because of the issue of the human life involved.”
The source also said it was the position of the military that one of the greatest factors militating against the success of the ongoing operation was collaboration between the insurgents and the local communities.
The source said the foreign forces would commence effective operation with their Nigerian counterparts this week.
The source explained that a major area of focus in the operation would be on intelligence gathering which would involve massive deployment of high technology equipment for the military action against the insurgents.
The source said that high sophisticated equipment like drones, and remote sensors with the capacity to penetrate buildings and detect human beings and also differentiate between adults and children would be used.
He said, “One thing is that even before their coming, there has been a lot of intelligence gathering. Such collaboration has been ongoing.
“With the new development, there will be more intensive intelligence gathering; more sophisticated intelligence equipment like drones and remote sensors would be used.
“High-tech remote sensors that can penetrate buildings, differentiate between adults and children would be deployed. The troops are coming with high technological equipment.
“On the ground here in Nigeria, they have not started operations, but it would be very soon. I can say next week.”
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